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How do tracers work and will they harm the bore?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Cannonball888, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Cannonball888

    Cannonball888 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking about getting some but not if it will harm my gun.
  2. jonnyc

    jonnyc Well-Known Member

    Basically, a chemical composition in the base of the bullet is ignited by the powder charge and burns while the bullet travels down-range. Some burn immediately while others have a delay for 100, 200 yards, or more. Firing tracer ammo will not harm your barrel.
  3. Javelin

    Javelin Well-Known Member

    That is true for the most part. I would recommend staying away from shooting large amounts of military ball tracer ammo as it does burn while in the barrel and can harm barrels (especially those that are not chrome lined).

  4. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

    You have got to be real careful were you shoot it. Out here where I live there have been a couple of bad wild fires because some idiots were shooting
    5.56 and 7.62 tracers.
  5. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Well-Known Member

    I lit a teeny backstop fire once with the stuff.

    The tracer I handloaded was the red USGI 145gr .30 caliber stuff found in bulk at places like Widener's, etc. I still have a big coffee can full of them, even after I loaded a bunch for my M14, M1 Garand, BM-59, and M1911 Schmidt-Rubin.

    It doesn't light off until about 100 yards. Unfortunately, the dried clump of grass in the dirt berm behind my target was all of 105 yards. Word to the wise...

    You can still find the pulled USGI 145gr tracer bullets out there in bulk quantities. I wouldn't worry about them ruining your rifle's bore, but watch what the local laws are regarding the stuff, especially during fire season. ;)
  6. dstark

    dstark Well-Known Member

    I believe its phosphorous
  7. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Well-Known Member

    +1 to making damn sure about what you're shooting into. When it's dry enough outside, it's entirely possible to set vegetation on fire using standard FMJ projectiles, so tracers are just about guaranteed. The only time I'd ever feel comfortable about shooting them is during rain, or else into an environment that cannot burn (desert, empty dirt fields, etc).

    I've had to put out several fires before from hot bullets either sparking or landing on flammable material (not my shots, but from others). When it's dry enough to catch easy, it spreads pretty fast.
  8. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Well-Known Member

    It's like milk shake--not a solid item for everyday diet-but a treat.

    Watch what you are shooting at!
  9. buck00

    buck00 Well-Known Member

    Tracers will start fires easily if its dry out. I saw a .308 tracer burn up an entire cornfield (which had been cut). Make sure you shoot at a back drop and there is no chance a round skips over the top of it, etc.
  10. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

    Talking about skips and ricochets, has any of you been to a nighttime machine gun shoot and seen the tracers going every ware.
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    Most tracer mixtures contain nitrates, chlorates and/or perchlorates. These mixtures can encourage rusting of the bore.
  12. deafsg1

    deafsg1 Well-Known Member

    "especially during fire season." ???

    Huh, there's fire season? As in hunting season? :confused: What do you use to hunt fire with that has anything more than a 10-foot range?
  13. bartsimpson123844

    bartsimpson123844 Well-Known Member

    ""especially during fire season." ???

    Huh, there's fire season? As in hunting season? What do you use to hunt fire with that has anything more than a 10-foot range??

    Wow, I seriously hope you were joking....if not, wow. Just wow.
  14. deafsg1

    deafsg1 Well-Known Member


    Sorry. I simply could not resist... Helluva pun, if you ask me...
  15. Walter

    Walter Well-Known Member

    I was at one of those. It was in 1969, in I Corps, RVN.
    Orange tracers going one way, green tracers going the other way.
    They do skip and bounce around a lot.
    I got to see a lot more of the green tracers, because they were
    coming in my direction. :rolleyes: :D

  16. strat81

    strat81 Well-Known Member

  17. deafsg1

    deafsg1 Well-Known Member

    "When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris."

    ROTGDFLMDFAO!! Where did you get that byline?!? I love it!
  18. pgeleven

    pgeleven Well-Known Member

    back in my USMC days we did a 50 cal range on the big island. it had been dry for a week so range control said the only way we could fire was to pull our tracers and re-link our ball rounds. the even after our shoot we had a light mist come in and got the green light to shoot off the tracers, in belts of 250+. we did a 4 vehicle 'talking guns' once it was fully dark out, and it looked like we were shooting a scene for Star Wars. unfortunately, one of the guns started to run-away and ate through too a long belt, which cracked the M2 barrel.

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